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Revealed: How Super-rich Africans Earn Their Money and Spend It

Africa, the poorest continent in the world, has more than 145,000 wealthy individuals. This privileged club, which private bankers call in their jargon the High net worth individuals (HNWI), is no longer exclusively composed of a caste of lucky heirs and endogamous princes. There are more and more self-made men who work hard to grow their money, spend lavishly and devote a portion of their wealth to philanthropic works. Diving into the subdued universe of Africa of great fortunes.

Always more numerous, and richer! While the stock markets have not sparked and commodity prices are struggling to climb the slope, African fortunes are not experiencing the crisis. According to the 2017 edition of the Africa Wealth Report published annually by the British research firm New World Wealth and AfrAsia Bank, Africa had at the end of 2016 some 145,000 high net worth individuals (HNWI) .

The Malian Mansa Moussa remains to this day the richest man of all time.

The cumulative wealth of those with a net worth of at least $ 1 million, excluding principal residence, was $ 800 billion. Between 2006 and 2016, the number of these African rich has increased by 19% while their nest egg has grown by more than 300 billion dollars.

Between 2006 and 2016, the number of these African rich has increased by 19% while their nest egg has grown by more than 300 billion dollars.

South Africa is well ahead of the ranking of the countries where these large fortunes live with 40,400 people, ahead of Egypt (18,100) and Nigeria (12,300). But it is Mauritius that tops the list of African countries that have recorded the highest growth in the number of HNWI living on its soil between 2006 and 2016. This Indian Ocean island State has seen the number of its Billionaires, multi-millionaires and millionaires climb by 230% during the period under review, to 3800 people.

Fourteen other countries on the continent recorded double or triple-digit increases in the number of their super-rich between 2006 and 2016, including Ethiopia (219%) and Rwanda (107%).

In 2017, the African continent had 22,970 people with a fortune of over $ 5 million.

A more recent report, published by real estate consultancy Knight Frank, also showed that the world’s poorest continent had 22,970 people in 2017 with a fortune of more than $ 5 million, compared with 21 460 in 2016.

Entitled “Wealth Report 2018”, this study also counts 1190 Africans possessing more than 50 million dollars in 2017 against 1110 in 2016.

The number of ultra-rich Africans with a fortune of more than 500 million dollars, meanwhile, remained stable at 80 people.

This study also counts 1190 Africans owning more than 50 million dollars in 2017 against 1110 in 2016. The number of ultra-rich Africans with a fortune of more than 500 million dollars has, meanwhile, remained stable, at 80 people.

Cryptomanies seduce, gold loses its brilliance

Knight Frank’s study, which surveyed 500 private bankers and wealth management advisers representing 50,000 clients worldwide, shows that members of the club of super-rich Africans are largely the antithesis of the cliché worn down idle people sipping Dom Pérignon champagne on board their luxury yachts, to the point of quickly becoming fat and depressed due to inactivity and lack of objectives … The vast majority of these wealthy people are not night owls who spend their time combing the giraffe. They work and take care of their investments. For them, to become rich demands work … To remain so too.

Rich Africans appreciate cryptocurrencies.

Their financial wealth is dominated by equities (26%) and cash (26%), even though cryptocurrencies (24%) and bonds (15%) appeal to them more and more.

They work and take care of their investments. For them, to become rich demands work … To remain so too.

Real estate, which accounts for 12% of the assets of African super-rich, is also a favorite investment. 34% of people belonging to this caste owned real estate outside their home country in 2017. The most popular cities for the purchase of second homes are London, New York, Geneva, Sydney and Paris. Dubai is particularly popular with HNWIs from Egypt, Nigeria, Algeria and Morocco.

Private equity accounts for 12% of investments versus 9% for alternative investments. Gold, however, has lost much of its luster in recent years and now accounts for only 3% of the assets of wealthy African individuals, who seem to have realized that having a poorly diversified portfolio can be very expensive when the market turns around. .

In this context, Knight Frank’s study reveals that the wealthiest Africans have a high risk aversion. 53% of them are not willing to engage in profitable investments, but their risk profile is high compared to 24% in the United States, 19% in Asia and 25% in Latin America.

Luxury cars, designer clothing, yachts and private jets

While it is true that the African haves are cautious and want to build a woolen sock that can be used as a new priming pump in case of a hard blow, the fact remains that they do not look at the Spend when it comes to buying happiness. We do not know much about them, such as the acquisition by Saudi Prince Al-Walid Ben Talal of an Airbus A 380 for quiet travel, or the construction of a mini-state of its own by British twins David and Frederick Barclay. But they do not hesitate, with few exceptions, to display a princely lifestyle without complex.

In total, the African luxury market generated sales of around $ 5.9 billion
in 2016.

African millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires love collectibles, especially works of art, wines, gleaming sports cars and classic cars.

According to calculations by New World Wealth, they have blazed about $ 8.8 billion, or 1.1% of their assets, in collectibles over the past decade.

At the end of 2016, the African super-rich owned works of art worth a total of $ 870 million. Congolese multi-millionaire Sindika Dokolo holds the largest collection of contemporary African art. The collection of this husband of Isabel dos Santos, the richest woman in Africa and daughter of the former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, would today include more than 3,000 works by several hundred artists from most countries from the continent.

Sindika Dokolo holds the largest collection of contemporary African art.

Collectibles also include wines, classic cars, antiques, jewelery and luxury watches. In 2016, the total value of sales of luxury watches in Africa reached $ 46 million. In total, the African luxury market generated sales of around $ 5.9 billion in 2016. The main components of this market were luxury cars, yachts, personal luxury goods such as watches , ready-to-wear, accessories and jewelry.

Some 1,500 ultra-rich Africans also own private jets, including 580 in South Africa, 400 Nigeria, 190 Egypt and 140 Kenya.

$ 7 billion a year for philanthropic works

Although they are mostly followers of high-dose bling-bling, the African bourgeois think of their dissimilarities. The rich fortunes of the continent devote $ 7 billion each year to philanthropic works, according to the African Grantmakers Network (AGN).

The rich fortunes of the continent devote $ 7 billion each year to philanthropic works, according to the African Grantmakers Network (AGN).

The classic charitable approach of distributing food and medicine to the poorest has gradually given way to more strategic philanthropy that targets the development of sectors with important socio-economic impacts such as health, education and entrepreneurship.

South African mining mogul Patrice Motsepe was the first African to sign “The Giving Pledge”, a call for donations launched in 2010 by American billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. In 2013, the boss African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) donated half of his fortune, then estimated at more than $ 2 billion, to a charitable foundation that bears his name.

Patrice Motsepe donated half of his fortune.

In 2010, Nigerian businessman Tony Elumelu created a foundation that rewards every year a thousand African start-up creators in health, education or agriculture.
The Chairman of the Board of Pan African Banking Group United Bank for Africa (UBA) and founder of investment company Hiers Holding is the inventor of the term “africapitalism” which he defines as an economic philosophy and in which success is based on two pillars: private sector engagement and philanthropy. ” We fight to succeed then, the objective reached, we look around and we decide to redistribute, ” he said.

The British billionaire of Sudanese origin Mo Ibrahim has, for his part, chosen to invest in democracy and good governance. After divesting its telecommunications company Celtel in 2006, it launched a foundation bearing its name, which publishes an annual index of good governance and awards the “Mo Ibrahim Award for Excellence in Leadership”. This prize, which rewards African heads of state who have left office without having exceeded their elective mandate and left behind a positive balance sheet, is endowed with $ 5 million over ten years and a lifetime pension of $ 200,000 per year. year.

James Mwangi, head of the Kenyan Equity Bank Group, sends him the best students in his country to continue their studies in the United States in the hope of seeing them return, later in Nairobi with the same culture of philanthropy.

Source: Ecofin Agency

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